John Wayne Airport

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About John Wayne Airport

Inside the terminal at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport is a commercial airport in Orange County, California and the only airport in Orange County. It is one of the busier airports in the greater Los Angeles area, handling mostly domestic flights within the US, with a few additional flying internationally within North America. 

There are no scheduled airlines currently based at John Wayne Airport, although, Southwest Airlines uses it as a focus city. The only airline that is currently based at John Wayne Airport is JetSuite, which is a US Business/Private Charter airline. 

The first airstrip built on the airport dates back to 1923 back when the airport was a flying school. The County of Orange acquired the land in 1939 and by 1942, the area was turned into an Army Air Base, which was used during World War II. After the war, the airport was used for different uses in aviation. 

The airport was completely rebuilt in 1964, with an extra runway (two in total). By the end of the 1960s the airport had another terminal built, named the Eddie Martin Terminal. 

In 1979, the airport was renamed the John Wayne Airport, after previously being known as the Orange County Airport. In the 1990s, the Eddie Martin Terminal was demolished and replaced with a new passenger terminal — the Thomas F. Riley Terminal, which is the terminal that exists today.

What is the airport code for John Wayne Airport?

The airport code for John Wayne Airport is SNA.

Airport Location

John Wayne Airport is located in Orange County, near the cities of Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Depending on traffic, the airport is around a 10–30-minute drive away from the main parts of Orange County, a 30–85-minute drive away from Disneyland Resort and a 45–140-minute drive away from downtown LA.

 

Facilities

Inside the terminal at John Wayne Airport

The airport has an award-winning concessions program, featuring more than 300 commercial venues to meet all passenger’s shopping, dining and service needs.

Facilities Include:

  • WIFI
  • Currency exchange & ATMs
  • Electrical power outlets
  • Lockers
  • Baby rooms
  • Special services
  • Smoking lounges
  • Car hire
  • Showers
  • Emergency and medical services
  • Dining
  • Shopping

Lounges Include:

American Airlines Admirals Club

Location: Terminal A.

  • Free snacks
  • Free bar
  • WIFI
  • Flight monitors
  • Newspapers & magazines

 

USO Lounge

Location: Terminal B.

  • Free snacks
  • WIFI
  • TV Screens
  • Newspapers & Magazines

 

United Airlines United Club

Location: Terminal B.

  • Free dining
  • Free beer & wine
  • Free snacks
  • Flight monitors
  • WIFI
  • Newspapers & magazines
  • TV Screens

 

Runways

John Wayne Airport Runway Aerial View

Credit: John Wayne Airport photo D Ramey Logan.jpg from Wikimedia Commons by D Ramey Logan, CC-BY 4.0"

John Wayne Airport has two runways — a major runway and a minor runway. The major runway 2L/20R is 1,738 m x 46 m, which makes it one of the shortest major runways at any major airport in the US. The minor runway 2R/20L is 880 m x 23 m. Due to its relatively small runways, John Wayne Airport cannot facilitate any aircraft larger than the Boeing 757. This means that only narrowbody planes (or smaller) can fly to/from the airport. 

 

Terminals

John Wayne Airport technically only has one main passenger terminal building named the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. However, this terminal is split into three separate terminal areas, titled A–C.

Terminal A

Terminal A was built in 1990 and, along with Terminal B, replaced the Eddie Martin Terminal, which was closed when the Thomas F. Riley terminal was built. Terminal A has the ticket counters for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and WestJet. Terminal A also features the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge.

Terminal B

Terminal B opened at the same time as Terminal B when the two terminals replaced the previous Eddie Martin Terminal. Terminal B has the ticket counters for Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, as well as United Airlines United Club lounge.

Terminal C

Terminal C opened in 2011 and has a variety of shops and restaurants that are exclusive to the terminal. Terminal C also has the ticket counters for Frontier and Southwest but doesn't have any airport/airline lounges.

Airlines that fly to John Wayne Airport

Only JetSuite uses John Wayne Airport as its hub. However, Southwest does use it as a focus city.

Take a look at the table below to see a full list of airlines that fly to/from John Wayne Airport.

AIRLINE COUNTRY FROM
Alaska Airlines USA
American Airlines USA
Delta & Delta Connection USA
Frontier Airlines USA
JSX USA
Southwest Airlines USA
United & United Express USA
WestJet Canada

 

Top Destinations

Top Domestic Routes

May 2018–April 2019
Rank Destination Passengers Airlines
1 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 492,00 American Airlines, Southwest Airlines
2 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 479,000 Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
3 San Jose, California 470,000 Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines
4 Denver, Colorado 463,000 Frontier, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 399,000 American Airlines

How to get to John Wayne Airport

By driving

John Wayne Airport can be driven to from the San Diego (I-405) Freeway, the Costa Mesa (SR-55) Freeway and the Corona Del Mar Free Way/San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Toll Road (SR-73).

Rental cars are available at the airport. Rental car companies are based at on the arrival level, which is located on the lower level of the airport between Terminals A and B. Rental cars must be returned to the lower level of Parking A2 and B2, which can be accessed from the Ground Transportation Center.

By taxi

As a rough guide, a taxi from Disneyland to John Wayne Airport will cost roughly $40 USD. It might be difficult to flag a taxi down unless you're travelling from the Hollywood and Downtown LA area. Therefore, it's advised that you pre-book a taxi before, which, the person(s) in charge of your accommodation should be happy to help with.

There are also many taxi apps available in the city, with Lyft, Uber and Wingz permitted to drive to John Wayne Airport. 

By train

John Wayne Airport doesn't have its own train station. The nearest train stations are in Irvine, Santa Ana and Tustin, which are all around 10 miles away from the airport. 

iShuttle provides a shuttle bus from Tustin Metrolink Station to the airport on Route A. But, with other stations, you'd need to find an alternative way of getting to the airport.

By bus

There is an express bus that travels between Disneyland and John Wayne airport. 

Other than that, Orange Country Transportation Authority, shortened to OCTA, drive to John Wayne Airport on Route 76.

The iShuttle Route A also drives to the airport.